Mental Health Tips
It takes a lot of courage to decide to place a kid for adoption. And strength. However, this act of kindness can, nonetheless, become the source of a great deal of sadness and loss for many women.
After placing a baby for adoption, you may struggle to cope with difficult emotions. You’ve spent days, weeks, and months deliberating and preparing for life after placement.
Shouldn’t you cope better with adoption?
No. And that’s perfectly understandable.
Postpartum depression is common, especially following adoption. And there is no one-size-fits-all solution to “giving a baby up” for adoption. Each birth parent’s feelings after “giving up” a child for adoption are unique. Coping is a process, so be patient as you learn what works for you.
Take as long as you need with the healing process.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you practice coping.
Understand That Your Feelings Are Real
Adoption pain isn’t easily dismissed.
Before you can heal, you must feel. After placing a child up for adoption, let yourself experience grief, loss, and anger. Ignoring your emotions can cause more harm than you realize.
Despite how you feel, you didn’t make a mistake. Instead, you choose to give your baby a happy, loving life. By any measure, that is admirable.
Don’t feel like you have to compare your feelings to anyone else’s. It’s absolutely fine if you don’t seem to grieve as much as other birth parents. Your feelings are your own, and you have the right to handle them in your fashion. You’ll find self-acceptance easier once you acknowledge your feelings and remember why you made this decision.
Consider changing how you talk about adoption to avoid feeling like you “gave up” on yourself or your baby. “Giving a baby up for adoption” doesn’t accurately reflect the decision to place a child. You never “gave up” on yourself or your baby. Instead, providing a child with a good life was brave, selfless, and loving.
Don’t Work Through This Alone
Grief is not something you have to do alone.
Reach out to those who care about you; they want to help and are willing to listen. Friends and family can be a great comfort.
You could also talk with other birth parents. For example, connecting with someone who has also placed a child for adoption can be helpful. In addition, you can go online or ask at your local women’s health center for information on birth parent support groups and forums. You can also find discussions on social media where you only have to share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
If you’re not sure about your decision, adoption specialists and counselors can help you worth through understanding the adoption process and its repercussions. In fairness, it’s a decision you’ll want to be as sure as possible about. However, while changing your mind is possible, the longer you wait, the more complex the process becomes.
With help, however, you can reach an informed and emotionally secure decision.
You’ll likely feel emotionally exhausted as you learn to cope with placing your baby for adoption. One minute you’re sad. The next, you’re relieved and confident about adoption. Both feelings are okay, and alternating between them is typical. Grief and loss are wavelike. It’s natural to think you’ve moved on only to feel the same way months or years later. Again, this is typical and common.
Make time for yourself if you can. It’s alright to indulge yourself after placing a child for adoption. Reconnect with loved ones or focus on your hobbies for a time. Find something that makes you feel like your old self or a better, more robust version of yourself.
Coming To Terms
Fully coming to terms with placing a child can last a lifetime. But you don’t have to go it alone. Adoption agencies offer free therapy during and after adoption. If you need to talk to someone or need materials on “giving up a baby” for adoption, a professional can help.
At Heartbeat of Toledo, we believe in the health and well-being of you and your baby throughout pregnancy, birth, placement, and beyond. On top of that, we’re committed to providing women with the best health and supportive care available.
Call us today for more information. (419) 241-9131